Hawaiian hoary bats, Kamehameheha butterflies, feral pua‘a, ‘ōhi‘a & koa trees, and other cool creatures emerged from the Hawaiian rainforest and marched the streets of Hilo this past Saturday, April 11 in the annual Merrie Monarch Parade. About 50 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park rangers, staff, and volunteers joined the forest dwellers, along with park partners, supporters and staff from Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park to encourage spectators to “Find Your Park” and raise awareness of the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park centennial anniversaries in 2016. Here are a few photos from the fun-filled day, enjoyed by thousands of local residents and visitors. Enjoy!
The banners make their way down Bayfront Avenue! NPS Photo/Jon Christensen.
Chief of Natural Resources, Rhonda Loh, shares park information from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with spectators. NPS Photo/Jon Christensen.
Charlie Hua of Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park greets keiki, adorned in cape and malo. NPS Photo/Jon Christensen
Hawaii Volcanoes’ volunteer Jeanne works the crowd. NPS Photo/Jon Christensen
Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ new Centennial logo made its public debut on the park banner. NPS Photo/Rebecca Carvalho
Everyone needs friends! Especially friends like Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, our supporting non-profit partners. Photo courtesy Ab Valencia
Park partners Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Assocation and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and youth rangers assemble for group photo, plus a few Hawaiian happyface spiders, a lava wolf spider or two, an endemic butterfly and a handful of Hawaiian hoary bats! Photo courtesy of Alan Lakritz
Andrew and Luke represent the heat from Hawai‘i Volcanoes Fire crew. NPS Photo.
You can’t rain on our parade! Just the pre-parade. Waiting for the start. Note the eco-bikes making the parade debut. Photo courtesy of Alan Lakritz
Ranger Leinā‘ala (left) and Ranger Diana lead the charge as the group approaches the big right turn from Pauahi Street onto Kīlauea Avenue. Photo courtesy of Kimie Castillo
A Hawaiian hoary bat (Christa Sadler) and public affairs specialist Jessica Ferracane. NPS Photo.
Aloha and see you next year!! Centennial Find Your Park banner carried by Kristi of cultural resources and Jessica, public affairs. Ranger Nainoa and Superintendent Cindy in the vehicle behind them. NPS Photo/Jon Christensen